I took the day off on Wednesday, and spent close to six hours just floating in the pool with my wife, who flew out to spend the about thirty-six hours with me.
It was just we both needed: she needed a break from home, where she has been solely responsible for our kids, our dogs, our bills, and every other responsibility that we normally share, and I really needed a day to get outside, and give my brain a rest.
We headed down to the pool around eleven, with a plan to float for a little bit, and then head out to do something that we never really defined, but after an hour or so, we both realized that floating around and not doing anything was exactly the something that we both needed to do, so we stayed there and worked really hard on not doing anything at all. It was a glorious day.
I took Anne back to the airport yesterday morning, and went back to the Rio where I wrote some really cool stuff for the PokerStars blog:
What a Long, Strange Pokertrip it's Been
I took a couple of pictures, took out my pen, and asked him a bunch of really stupid questions that I'm sure he's been asked a hundred times since he won event seventeen a few days ago, and I began to see a lot of myself in him; not because I'm such a great poker player, but because I, like him, went from relatively anonymous to not-so-anonymous very quickly, too. It's a weird thing when that happens: suddenly, everyone wants to take your picture, and some jerk wants to ask you stupid questions you've already answered a hundred times. It feels like everyone wants a piece of you, and you suddenly don't know who you can and can't trust. It's an exciting time, but it can also be very, very uncomfortable . . . and a little scary.
"Hey," I said, "I'm sure you don't know a thing about me, but I was a big deal actor about a million years ago, and I think I know what you're going through: everyone wants a piece of you now, right? Suddenly you have a ton of new best friends who won't leave you alone, and all these people you don't know suddenly think they know you, right?"
He immediately softened, and smiled the first real relaxed smile I'd seen since we began to talk.
"Yeah," he said. "It's exactly like that."
Fossilman Cripples Mercier
The room is filled with chairs in anticipation of a capacity crowd for David Sklansky's talk in about ninety minutes. I wrote a post for my own blog, while I waited for David to arrive, and I noticed a beautiful woman was walking around the chairs and coming my way.
I looked up and found Isabelle Mercier standing next to me.
"Hey," I said, hoping that if she read my last post she wouldn't mention it to me, "how are you doing?"
"F---ing Greg Raymer," Isabelle said with a slow shake of her head.
"Uh-oh," I said.
"He raised me, I put him all-in with the ace king before the flop, and he called with queen ten to make a straight. Of course. He crippled me."
"Oh, jeeze," I said, grateful that she hadn't mentioned anything about my sighing.
"I'm going to start a new group," she said with a laugh, "boycott Greg Raymer!
"How about nomorefossilman.com?" I said, and we laughed together. We both like Greg a whole bunch, but Isabelle is a fierce competitor, and I doubt she'd have such good humor if it was anyone else.
I didn't write this yesterday, but I really, really like it, so I'm including it here. Nyahh.
Oh, Mercy Mercy Me
She smiled at me and said, "Okay, you also wrote about Bahamas on your blog wilwheaton.net, and I want to know what a word means."
We fired up my blog, and I searched for Mercier.
"Okay," she said. "Here, in this entry about the Bahamas."
She scrolled down, and read, " . . .we walked with Greg, Joe, Isabelle Mercier (sigh), Lee Jones, and several of the PokerStars staff over to the welcome party."
She turned to me, and I felt myself blush to eleven.
"What does this word 'ess eye gee ayche' mean?" She said.
Oh shit. I'm so busted.
"Well," I said, "uh, well, it's, uh . . . you know . . . " I felt a little light headed and the room began to spin as all the blood in my body got to work pushing the hottest blush my face has ever endured.
She looked back at me, as adorable as ever beneath a black "DEAL" baseball cap, and waited.
I exhaled and said, "Okay, this is really embarrassing. It means, 'I can't believe I get to walk with this beautiful woman,' you know? It's like," I put my hands out into the air, pulled them in and over my chest, and let out an exaggerated sigh.
"It, uh . . . it means that." I said. I hadn't wanted to just lay down and die like that since middle school, when I was Pam Hardy told Mindy Patterson that I totally
I'm playing in event 31 which is $2000 No-Limit Hold'Em. I start in ninety minutes, so I guess I should stop writing, finish my breakfast (I always eat eggs benedict the morning I'm playing in a poker tournament) and get myself together.
Last night, I was talking with Otis over a beer (Tilted Kilt finally got Arrogant Bastard! Yes!) and I told him that, while I'm really excited to play today, it's going to be weird to spend a day at the Rio where I'm not writing, especially since Joe Hachem will be at the final table of the $2500 Pot-Limit Hold'Em event today. I really am here as a writer who occasionally plays poker, the same way I have become as a writer who occasionally acts. I just love it that I don't even think about it anymore when someone asks me what I do: "I'm a writer."
If you're interested in tracking my progress today, you can start checking Pokerwire and Cardplayer around 12:30, though there is no guarantee that they'll keep me in the chip count. The PokerStars blog will be the best place to go for entirely accurate, and up to date information, because I'll be talking with Otis during my breaks, or after huge hands. Of course, I'll keep notes and take pictures, and have a whole write up of my own whenever the event is finished for me.
My poker game has gotten better in the last few days, especially after spending so much time talking with Barry Greenstein and listening to seminars from Barry Tanenbaum and David Sklansky. I have new bullets in my poker gun, and I can't wait to fire them today. I've had this mantra on a loop in my head all morning: I'm relaxed, confident, and focused because I play good poker because I'm relaxed, confident and focused because I play good poker because I'm relaxed, confident and focused because I play good poker . . .